Andalucia: when it rains, the fish will appear 38, about strippers and nailed rabbits III

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie
 

"Today we'll start at the bar of Jesus," said the master baker when I greeted him on the 2nd day and started the van. "That is only possible in Andalucia," I laughed, "if you had a Jesus bar in my country, every church would have a go at you." "No, no," Fernandez explained, "it's not Jesus' bar, if you know what I mean, the owner's name is Jesus." "Oh," I said, leaving the village. "I thought of something like we have in the spring, the drinking for the Lord thing.' "You help the church in doing so," my judicial friend said, "it's just that Jesus has a bar in the gypsy quarter, and so it's his bar, hence the bar of Jesus." "I totally understand you," I replied, "let's go see Jesus," and I turned onto the highway.

I was again with my thoughts at the drinking for the Lord gathering. I could not believe my ears when my neighbor came by my house years ago and had asked if I was going to drink for Jesus as well. "What do you mean," I had asked. "Well on the square, of course," he replied as if everyone knew that you could drink for Jesus on the square, and it turned out that everyone knew that too.

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Beer pumps from the various cofradias, the various brotherhoods, were lined up on the square. The ladies had prepared snacks and  you could buy a bunch of tickets for beer or spirits from the 'head brother'. Our priest stood behind one of the beer pumps and very skillfulfly pulled a few pints. "He has done that before," it went through me when I saw him at work. The brotherhoods defend the Catholic Church and each manifest themselves in their own way and play a prominent role in the Easter processions.

Now, after many years, I have become a member of the cofradia "del padre de Jesu Christo de Nazareth." The brotherhood of the father of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It simply is part of  Andalucia and its culture.

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The robes were Ku lux klan-like and I suspect that it was for the same reason, hiding one's own identity and propagating an idea.

It had been pleasant at the square, the drinking for Jesus had started at noon, when the sun was high up in the sky to the advantage of the folk selling drinks. Friends and neighbors gave each other rounds and you went from one cofradia bar to another. In the end some went stumbling a bit, but you have to make sacrifices at times for the Lord and the men in Andalucia have no restraint there, some of them drank themselves completely silly for the Lord and then still ordered more. Andaluces are apparently deeply religious.

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After drinking for the Lord for a few years, I thought it was perfectly normal. My friends say, "we do it for el Señor," our Lord and that explains it all, because how can one argue against that? The proceeds go to the fraternities who invest it again in the processions.

"You are far away," said my anis-loving friend. "I was just thinking about drinking for el Señor," I replied,'again that is something else you would never see in my country.' "Strange," said Fernandez, "don't you guys love Jesus?" He looked at me inquisitively and I thought how innocent the people are here, how beautiful that is, of course they have been manipulated by the church since their youth, but traditions are beautiful. "We experience it in a different way," I explained, "I don't know how to say it, I think we are more reserved and do not expose our feelings so openly and publicly."

"You mustn't complicate your life," Fernandez answered, "I don't go to church myself except with funerals and such and then as short as possible, but God likes it when you drink for his son and his church." "He really means it," I realized and said nothing in return, because what can you say? "God is as it were, Andaluz," my judicial friend told me, "and of course you have to help each other." Without wanting to, I laughed and asked, "Is it still far to Jesus?"

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"Turn left at the next intersection and you'll see it," said Fernandez, and a moment later we stopped in front of Jesus' bar. A sign outside said that today empanadas, made by the mother-in-law, could be ordered.

Fernandez was greeted exuberantly by a man in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt with flowers. The dark girl behind the bar reached for a glass and the anis bottle and gave my baker's friend a welcoming smile. "This is Jesus," said Fernandez, and I shook the outstretched hand of the flower man. "I had envisioned the Lord somewhat different," I thought, "un placer conocerte," nice to meet you. "This is San," continued my anis-loving friend, "he is my apprentice baker," I nodded sheepishly and thought, 'would it not be something now if heaven were really a bar where people were welcomed by an entity in a Hawaiian shirt.

"What are you having," the land lord asked, and I answered, "do me a café solo, please."

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13/09/2019 22:25

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